Sep 2, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson (63) in the dugout after being removed from the game during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
1. What will happen with Justin Masterson’s contract?
This is a big one and well deserving of the top spot. With Justin Masterson set to hit free agency at the end of the 2014 season, the Indians must decide on whether or not he is their ace. More importantly, they need to decide if they feel he is worth ace level money. If he is, then they need to act fast and sign him to an extension. If they don’t think they can afford him, then we may be looking at another C.C. Sabathia/Cliff Lee scenario where Masterson is traded prior to the July 31st trade deadline. There is also the chance that the Indians play out the 2014 season and let Masterson explore free agency. Based on current trends, if that happens he will almost certainly be out of the Indians price range. Stay tuned folks.
2. Will Asdrubal Cabrera be the Opening Day shortstop?
Everyone expects the Indians to trade Asdrubal Cabrera, but will it happen prior to the start of the season or will they wait until sometime during the season? Trading him now means getting less in return. All of the teams desperate for a starting shortstop have made moves to improve their situations. Holding onto Cabrera for the time being allows him to possibly improve some of his trade value with a solid start to the season. However, his value could also further decrease. The best move at this point is to wait out the market and see which contenders get desperate sometime during the season. So, for those of you desperate to see the Indians rid themselves of Asdrubal Cabrera, you’ll probably be waiting a bit long on this one.